UN allocates $5.5 million in relief funds for Pakistan’s flood victims

The United Nations has allocated $5.5 million towards emergency nutrition and food security interventions in the “most vulnerable communities of Balochistan and Sindh” impacted by the 2022 floods, according to a press release issued by the UN on Monday.

The statement said that the number of children suffering from wasting in flood-affected areas had greatly increased compared to the pre-flood situation, which was already reaching emergency levels.

It further cited a rapid survey conducted in 15 flood-affected districts, which revealed that nearly one-third of children aged six to 23 months suffer from moderate acute malnutrition and 14% from severe acute malnutrition. The number of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition with medical complications admitted for hospital treatment had also gradually increased since the floods as food prices soared globally.

In response to the crisis, the UN Resident Coordinator in Pakistan Julien Harneis announced that he would dedicate $5.5m out of the $6.5m allocation received from the Central Emergency Response Fund towards emergency nutrition and food security interventions.

“This additional $5.5m will help Unicef, WFP (World Food Programme), WHO and NGOs provide emergency nutrition interventions as part of the government-led flood response in the most vulnerable communities of Balochistan and Sindh, with OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) coordinating and ensuring that the funds are used in an efficient manner,” the statement read.

Harneis emphasized the urgency of the situation, noting that child wasting had already reached “emergency levels” even before the floods. He urged the global community to support the government in providing immediate therapeutic food and care to the increasing numbers of children at risk of death. Harneis also warned that failing to avert a nutrition crisis could have dangerous and irreversible consequences for millions of children and for the future of Pakistan.

The UN added that additional funding was urgently required to implement early identification, integrated prevention and treatment of malnutrition in a greater number of villages and healthcare facilities. The UN noted that only one-third of the nutrition interventions included in the Floods Response Plan had been funded so far.

The floods of 2022 were the tenth most expensive climate disaster experienced by any nation over the last decade. The floods caused over 1,700 deaths, displaced eight million people, and inflicted an estimated loss of $3 billion to the country.

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